Essential Oils – a closer look

As you might already be aware, the Health and Wellness industry is booming and there are many niches within this already huge maze of offerings. Encompassing everything from exercise, diet and nutrition, to mental health, massage, and even aromatherapy, the world of Health and Wellness can offer some unique opportunities for a seller to get in the game. An easy point of entry could be essential oils. They are proven to positively affect mood, brighten skin, relieve sore throats, condition hair and nails, and so much more. Some essential oils can be used in food, or even added to that boring old glass of water to give it some extra kick. Is there anything that essential oils can’t do?

Well….

One thing they typically can’t do, is travel through normal mail channels. You see, most essential oils have a flash point of around 140°F, which automatically classifies them as “Hazmat”, believe it or not. But all hope is not lost… some oils don’t have such a high flash point. If you have the MSDS, you might be able to challenge the classification. As with anything you sell, you should be keenly aware of the ins and outs of that thing. You should know exactly what it’s comprised of, if it’s subject to any kind of regulation, and thusly if there are any loopholes that might allow you to see in a place where most can’t because they haven’t done their homework.

What makes something “Hazmat”?

Essentially, if a product falls within one of the 9 “hazard classes”, it’s deemed Hazmat. If you disagree with that assessment, that’s where the MSDS and other documentation can help clarify the exact attributes of your specific product. So what are the 9 hazard classes?

Explosives – fireworks

Gases – propane

Flammable Liquids – gasoline, essential oils

Flammable Solids – matches

Oxidizing Substances – hydrogen peroxide

Toxic and Infectious Substances – bacteria and viruses

Radioactive Material – uranium

Corrosives – hydrochloric acid

Miscellaneous Dangerous Goods – the bucket where anything dangerous goes that doesn’t readily classify into one of the above

I want to sell essential oils. How do I get around this Hazmat issue?

You have two options… if you want to sell via FBA, the first order of business is to determine if the oil in question is indeed Hazmat or not. What is the flash point of it? What does the MSDS look like? What are the actual ingredients of what you’re selling? Does it make sense that it is classified by Amazon as Hazmat? If so, you can’t sell it via FBA. The program is closed at this time, so there’s no applying to be able to sell this via FBA.

But you can sell this via MFN, with proper packaging with appropriate markings, and via acceptable methods for the classification. Basically you just need to set up your own little “mini” hazmat program for the delivery of your essential oils, and you’re good to go!

As you make your way into the Health and Wellness industry via essential oils, I hope that you’ll also enjoy this article. It has handy tips that you as a potential wholesale buyer should be aware of. http://www.prevention.com/beauty/natural-beauty/7-signs-your-essential-oils-are-fake/slide/8

As with all things e-commerce, it can all be a bit overwhelming, I know! We’re here to help. If there is any way that we can help provide clarity around what direction to take with your online sales, please reach out!

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1 thought on “Essential Oils – a closer look”

  1. What if you were selling an essential oil on Amazon and then they later decide to classify it as Hazmat when you go to resupply? Also, lots of other people are selling this same essential oil. Is it worth fighting to get reinstated?

    Reply

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